What’s the Difference Between Nepali and Nepalese?

Map of Nepal with major cities

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Nepali and Nepalese have almost the same meaning when describing someone or something from Nepal. Both terms refer to the nationality, Language, and culture of people and things from Nepal. But there are some subtle difference between Nepali and Nepalese. 

The difference between “Nepali” and “Nepalese”

There are some subtle differences between the two definitions.


The term Nepali is primarily used as an adjective and a language designation. It is also used to refer to a person’s culture and their primary Language. For example, someone from Assam might identify as Nepali and speak Nepali as their primary Language.


The term Nepalese is primarily used as a noun to refer to someone who is from Nepal. According to the oxford dictionary, Nepalese is a person from Nepal. For example, someone from Nepal might identify as Nepalese and speak Nepali as their primary Language. 


In conclusion, Nepali and Nepalese refer to someone or something from Nepal. However, they have slight differences. The word Nepali has more of an emphasis on Language, while the word Nepalese emphasises nationality and culture. 

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